If you want to resize partitions that have been allocated by your laptop manufacturer or split a large hard drive into several smaller ones, here’s how in Windows.
We’re using Windows 10 here, but the steps also apply to older versions.
How to create partitions?
First, you’ll need some free space. If you have just installed a brand new hard disk, the wizard will pop up when you first launch Disk Management.
To do that, right-click This PC in File Explorer and click Manage. Then select Disk Management from the left pane of the Computer Management screen.
Alternatively, type ‘partition’ in the search bar in Windows 10 and click ‘Create and format disk partition’.
Here we have a 2TB hard drive formatted with a single partition. We want to split this up to have two separate 1TB partitions.
First, make sure there is at least 1TB of free space on the drive as you cannot shrink an existing partition if the drive is full.
Now right click on the partition and select Shrink Volume…
Enter the size to reduce the partition (i.e. the size you want your new partition to be) and click Shrink. Note that the number is in MB, not ideal.
100GB in MB is 102,400. 1TB is 1.024,000MB, but since hard drives tend to say 1TB = 1000MB and the (usable) formatted capacity is less than that, you’ll probably find that rounding down to the nearest thousand or even 10,000 will be easier.
If all you see is a spinning circle after a few minutes, you can close the Disk Management window and reopen it as described above.
Now you will see some unallocated space on the hard drive. Right click on an empty space and select New Simple Volume…
The wizard will ask you to choose a size for the new partition, but you will most likely want to use all the available space. Otherwise, enter the size in MB. Click Next and choose a drive letter for the new partition or set it to default, which will be the next available letter in the alphabet.
You should now see the format settings. If you don’t know what you’re doing, leave them alone – default is the best option in the vast majority of cases.
What you probably want to do is enter a name for the drive next to Drive Label. Otherwise it will be called ‘New Episode’.
Select ‘Do a quick format’ and click Next.
After a few seconds, your new partition will be created and it will show up in File Explorer, ready to receive files.
If you need to do anything more complicated than shrink, delete, or create new partitions, you may find that paid hard drive or partition management tools are just what you need.
For example, you can’t clone a hard drive with Windows tools, but with specialized cloning software it’s an easy job.
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